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Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson has won the 2023 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the second season in a row, the league announced on Friday. In addition, Wilson headlines the All-Defensive teams with her second consecutive First Team selection. 

In what was a fairly close race, Wilson received 32 votes from a panel of 60 media members, while Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas came in second place with 24 votes. The only other players to receive votes were Washington Mystics guard Brittney Sykes (three) and New York Liberty forward Betnijah Laney (one).

Wilson is the first player to win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards since Los Angeles Sparks guard Alana Beard in 2017 and 2018. In addition, Wilson is the eighth player to earn the honor multiple times. Indiana Fever legend Tamika Catchings still holds the all-time record of five. 

As part of her continued evolution, Wilson has become a dominant defensive force in recent years. She is now the league's premier rim protector, and once again led the league in blocks at 2.2 per game. She does not just hang around the paint, however. Her athleticism, length, footwork and anticipatory skills make her an extremely versatile defender. Whether it's switching out onto a guard when necessary, jumping into passing lanes for steals or directing traffic as the Aces' leader, she is constantly impacting the game on that side of the ball. 

With Wilson as their anchor, the Aces had the best defense in the league allowing just 97.7 points per 100 possessions. Their work on that side of the ball was a key factor in their record-setting season, in which they set a new single-season mark by winning 34 games and earning the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. 

As they continue their title defense in the semifinals against the Dallas Wings, they will continue to lean on Wilson's defensive prowess. 

All-Defensive First Team


Jordin Canada

Los Angeles Sparks

Breanna Stewart

New York Liberty

Brittney Sykes

Washington Mystics

Alyssa Thomas

Connecticut Sun

A'ja Wilson

Las Vegas aces

All-Defensive Second Team


Napheesa Collier

Minnesota Lynx

Betnijah Laney

New York Liberty

Ezi Magbegor

Seattle Storm

Nneka Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks

Elizabeth Williams

Chicago Sky

The All-Defensive teams were position-less this season, though the First Team ended up being two guards and three frontcourt players anyway. However, the change was noticeable on the Second Team, which featured four frontcourt players and just one perimeter player. Detailed voting results for the All-Defensive Teams were not released by the league.